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ChatGPT is terrible at maths and getting worse, OpenAI needs to ask Google for help

ChatGPT can be a godsend for some people, especially those dealing with many texts. Not only is it pretty helpful in writing and editing texts, but it is also a great place to summarise complex subjects and begin understanding them. So proficient is the AI bot that it cleared the US Medical license test better than most humans who had applied.

However, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has always had an Achilles heel — complex maths problems, especially those that involve complex numbers. Therefore, it may have to go to Google and enlist its help.

ChatGPT, LLMs, and their problem with Maths
It is not just ChatGPT failing at maths; most LLMs of Large Language Models perform terribly in Maths. Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, recently published a research paper that said that LLMs do pretty well with simple maths, one that would be taught in a high school. However, even then, there are times when LLMs like ChatGPT get confused and hallucinate.

This means most LLMs haven’t been trained on the core calculation basics. If they had been prepared for that, they wouldn’t have had issues completing calculations with larger and more complex numbers. In all likelihood, most LLMs have read equations and estimates that are already on the internet.

This is like children rote learning maths — it doesn’t work in the long run. As our parents always told us while helping us with our maths homework, we must have our basics clear and robust.

What’s worse is that ChatGPT and other LLM models have become worse at Maths while developing their language skills. The situation is so wrong with ChatGPT, in particular, that it now often gets basic math questions wrong. This is because of a phenomenon called “AI Drift,” which happens when a part of a complex AI model negatively affects a different position. No one knows why or how exactly this happens.

How Google can help
Google has come up with a solution to all this and is willing to work with the developers of AI studios who work with LLMs to work logically with algorithms and numbers. They are offering to help studios like OpenAI train their LLMs and AI Chatbots to carry out calculations.

Analytics India Magazine’s report revealed that a research team at Google has developed a paper, ‘Teaching language models to reason algorithmically,’ in which they talk about in-context learning. They have also developed an algorithm that makes LLM and AI bots better at number-based reasoning.

In-context learning means instructing a model by systematically guiding the learning process rather than inundating the learner with all instructions at the outset. This approach pertains to the capacity of a model to execute a task after being exposed to a few examples presented within the framework of the model’s existing knowledge and understanding.

Google is not the only one.
Analytics India Magazine reports that Wolfram Research, another AI development studio, is working on giving AI LLMs some proficiency in maths. They have been working with OpenAI to improve their LLM and GPT’s ability with numbers.

In an interview with AIM, the studio revealed that their plugin for ChatGPT, which is known as Wolfram+ChatGPT, has helped OpenAI improve their maths skills significantly. The way the plugin works is that it turns queries from text into equations and some visual representations as well. These include graphs, charts, etc.

From there, Wolfram’s programming language takes over, specializing in presenting data in a computational form.

However, as wonderful as Wolfram’s plugin is, it cannot solve the problem that OpenAI’s and LLMs generally have with maths. In effect, such plugins do not usually train the LLM for a broader purpose and are a stop-gap solution at best. ChatGPT’s best bet, therefore, is Google’s algorithm for the problem and the study they have conducted.

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